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An expensive bump in the road

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 9/11/2013 8:16 am
SALTILLO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Lee County Supervisor Bobby Smith wishes for more, but less is what he is going to get.

"As long as we're in this economy, I suspect we'll have to do these kinds of things."

Smith refers to the financial difficulties Lee County officials face when they attempt to make road repairs.

When Smith took office in 2000, it costs just under $20,000 to overlay one mile of road. That cost has soared to $65,000 due to in part the cost of petroleum-based asphalt.

Now factor in the economy. County officials have cut $1.6 million of their road budget over the past two years.

"In this time we find ourselves in we have got to work with what we've got and maintain the infrastructure as best as possible, so what else can you say about it," Smith added.

One Saltillo homeowner who wishes to remain anonymous has something to say about it.

"My neighbor and I both walked and neither one of us can walk now because mainly it's just a dusty mess. I'm kind of upset that is is not being completely repaired."

Smith says this is a problem not unique to Lee County. All areas of the country are struggling.

"You set your priorities. You do this one year and this one the next year and so forth and that's what we've got is a long range plan to take care of this, but it's just gonna take us a little longer than normal."

Gloria Nielsen is glad to see any improvement.

"I'm appreciative of it. We've waited a long time and I think the Mayor of Saltillo and Bobby Smith are doing a great job and anything they do we appreciate."

Smith says it's going to take a population growth in Lee County to generate more revenue.

Until then, he and other county officials see this route as the only way to go to avoid raising taxes.
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